What makes Scottish art Scottish? In this now classic book, Murdo Macdonald explores the distinctive characteristics of Scottish art over the centuries – such as the heritage of Celtic design with its emphasis on intricate pattern; the importance of the landscape, particularly the Highlands and the sea; and a close connection with France. He ranges from the earliest surviving art – Neolithic standing stones – through the art of the Picts and Gaels, and the tumultuous centuries of the Reformation, to the great flowering of Scottish art in the Enlightenment. The final chapters focus closely on art produced since 1900, with succinct and revealing analyses of the Scottish Colourists and the major figures of contemporary art in all media.
Masterpieces from the Book of Kells to paintings by Charles Rennie Mackintosh and Joan Eardley are illustrated in full colour, and such key works are set in a clearly explained historical context throughout. Macdonald’s lucid and deeply researched book makes a significant contribution to the understanding of Scotland’s artistic past and present.
'An affordable first cut into Scotland’s rich and varied art history … cannot be beaten for its authority, its contextual reach, and its elegantly thought-through juxtapositions'